Bavaria journal

  • Although reserved, people in the street were friendly and willing to meet our gaze and return a smile.
  • Traditional German food in Huntsville seems just as good as in Bavaria. Perhaps traditional German food travels better than other ethnic dishes. Or maybe Huntsville restaurants do a better than average job of presenting it (Huntsville has a lot of traditional German restaurants due to the large number of German scientists who emigrated there following WWII).
  • On the shelf in a grocery store: Mississippi Barbecue Sauce. For those of us from the U.S., Texas would be a more obvious branding choice, or even Tennessee if you wanted something related to the deep south.
  • We were made a couple of times to feel a little foolish for asking questions in a store, compared to Alabama where the clerks would have apologized to us. “Do you have this in blue?” Germany: “If we had it in blue it would be on the shelf.” Alabama: “I’m sorry, we only have it in orange.”
  • The Munich subway works on the honor system. Although we didn’t experience it, there are regular control events when riders are checked and heavy fines issued for not having a ticket. As an observer it’s nearly impossible to tell how well this works. But Germans seem to be rule followers in general. And Googling indicates illegal ridership is pretty low.
  • You are expected you to know how things work or at least to read the signs. In short, they expect you to act like adults. I didn’t see anyone paid to simply stand around telling people which line to get into, as I immediately experienced upon returning to the United States.

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